You know all those hours you spend drooling over the Contiki brochures? Feeling hungry at the sight of Italian pizza, feeling jealous of people frolicking in Thailand and being inspired by someone climbing Machu Picchu? It turns out there's actually someone behind all of those photos! Introducing the famed and talented: Mark the Contiki photographer!
Contiki: What inspired you to become a photographer?
Mark: I’ve had a camera in my hand for as long as i can remember, I took my first photo when i was just six years old and it became a passion. Looking at magazines like Life, The Sunday Times and National Geographic certainly made up my mind about my career choice and I’m lucky enough to have been doing it ever since.
Contiki: Where’s the best place you’ve ever travelled to?
Mark: That’s a really difficult question! I love traveling and I’ve visited so many amazing countries. Sunset at Uluru in Australia, street food in Saigon, Vietnam and Machu Picchu in Peru are all way up there!
Contiki: What’s been your career highlight or what’s the piece of work you’re most proud of?
Mark: Having my portraits acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London has been a great accolade. A month in Kenya photographing elephants for WWF was incredible. Working with Bowie & photographing the Rolling Stones was pretty cool too. I love seeing my work splashed over the covers and pages of the Contiki brochures though, they look great.
Contiki: What’s the best thing about working for Contiki?
Mark: My shoots with Contiki have always been fantastic travel experiences and the places we have travelled to have been awesome. The local people we meet are always inspiring and the crew make the shoots such amazing adventures. It’s like a ‘micro family’ on the road; that’s unique and it makes Contiki very special. They’re always great memories with incredible images too.
Contiki: Any crazy / weird / amazing story that’s happened on the job with Contiki?
Mark: I love it when things don’t go quite as planned because this is when you really learn about a country; how it works, it’s people and their culture. Traveling in Peru is always unpredictable - planes land where they shouldn’t, trains don’t always leave on time and as with every trip, the weather is the master of your destiny. Our journey to Machu Picchu was an epic voyage to say the least. Our flights were delayed, re-routed and then ended up back where we first started. We spent all night in a railway carriage on the track as our train was delayed by mud slides on the mountain, so a six hour journey ended up taking 24 hours. It was an exciting adventure and made finally getting there a truly amazing and unforgettable experience.